Kathleen McCormack was an American woman who vanished without a trace in 1982. The New York medical student, who was married to multimillionaire real estate heir, Robert Durst, was later presumed to be dead even though her body has never been found.
It is fast approaching four decades since Kathleen went missing, yet the mystery behind her disappearance is yet to be solved. She was last seen on the 31st of January 1982 when her husband put her on a train to Manhattan. Read on to get the full details of the circumstances surrounding her death.
Kathleen McCormack’s Life With Robert Durst
Kathleen McCormack and Robert Durst (a real estate heir) wedded on the 12th of April 1973, but their life together was fraught with many troubles and domestic violence. A few months before she went missing, Kathleen reportedly climbed out of the window of their 16th-floor penthouse in her pajama to escape a violent attack from Durst.
Prior to her disappearance, Kathleen McCormack was getting ready to divorce her husband, and she even disclosed to her lawyers that Durst had threatened to have her killed. Besides, reports from a medical practitioner at Bronx hospital revealed that Durst’s wife received treatment for abrasions a couple of weeks to her disappearance.
The Story of Robert Durst’s Wife’s Disappearance
During her early twenties, Kathleen McCormack joined Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx and was already in her fourth year before her disappearance. On that fateful evening, she attended a party at the home of her friend Gilberta Najamy who attested to the fact that Kathleen who would normally dress nice came to the party wearing a sweatpants, she also disclosed that Durst’s wife was involved in a heated argument with her husband before she left the party, and later made Najamy promise that she would check up on her in case something bad happened, as she was really afraid of what she would likely face at home with Durst.
According to Durst’s version of the story, he last saw Kathleen on that Sunday night after he escorted her to the train in Westchester. Supposedly, she was on her way to their apartment located in Manhattan, he also told the authorities that Kathleen McCormack was expected back on Monday for her appointments at the medical school, but failed to show up.
According to reports, Durst had a phone conversation with his wife when she got to Manhattan from the house phone; however, he failed to provide the phone records at the request of the investigators, claiming that it was while on a walk with his dog that he made the call via a payphone. The investigations found this difficult to believe as facts revealed the nearest payphone to be three miles away from Durst residence, besides the night under review was a cold and rainy night.
At the commencement of the investigations, the police were able to lay hands on some eyewitnesses who placed Kathleen McCormack in Manhattan, but a while later, the same witnesses claimed that they might have been mistaken with who they saw. Even a couple of friends who held papers for Kathleen said that the papers went missing when they were burgled after her disappearance. The investigators omitted to search the couple’s home which belonged to Durst because they had cogent reasons to believe that Kathleen actually reached Manhattan.
A missing person’s report came from Kathleen’s husband on the 5th of February with claims that he was not even aware of his wife’s disappearance until he received a call from one of her college deans who said that they have not seen his wife all week. According to the dean, someone claiming to be Durst’s wife called in on the 1st of February claiming that she was really sick and thus wouldn’t be able to make it to classes.
When asked why he had to wait so long before filing a missing person’s report, Kathleen McCormack’s husband said that both he and his wife sometimes go for days without contact. The days following his wife’s disappearance, Durst posted some reward posters in a bid to find his missing spouse. Even some close friends attested to the fact that Kathleen’s husband speculated about his wife being killed by a drug dealer as she had a thing with cocaine. A Manhattan judge has long declared Kathleen dead but the family still hopes to get answers.
It was really strange that Durst blatantly refused to take a lie detector test, besides, he was in an almighty hurry to dispose of his wife’s possessions, he even denied the evidence of his own affidavit with the claims that he had already made everything about Kathleen’s disappearance known to both her family and the authorities. Important to note that, he wasted no time in filing for divorce on the grounds of spousal disappearance.
Following some investigations, new details were released in the investigation of Kathleen Durst’s murder 40 years later.
According to ABC Eyewitness News, Robert Durst, an eccentric millionaire and real estate heir, was recently charged with murdering his wife Kathleen Durst almost 40 years after she disappeared in 1982.
Durst was a suspect in his wife’s disappearance, but investigators couldn’t connect him to the crime until recently.
The millionaire was charged with his wife’s murder in October 2021 after his life sentence for murdering Berman, he died shortly afterwards in January 2022 at age 78.
The investigative report is meant to help Kathleen’s family, but they were not invited to the press conference.
The family’s attorney, Robert Abrams, said there is no doubt that Robert Durst murdered Kathie and that the evidence has been available for almost forty years.
Abrams called for DA Rocah’s resignation for “misrepresentations and omissions” in the case.
The family of Kathleen will address other issues with the investigation on the 40th anniversary of her death later this month.
- Kathleen McCormack, a New York medical student, disappeared on the night of January 31, 1982. Her husband Robert Durst, a multimillionaire real estate heir, reported her missing and claimed that she boarded a train to Manhattan.
- McCormack’s body has never been found and despite investigations, no charges were laid against Durst in relation to her disappearance.
- McCormack and Durst had a turbulent marriage. They began dating in 1971, and married in 1973. They lived a seemingly affluent lifestyle in New York, but McCormack suffered abuse from Durst throughout their marriage.
- McCormack discovered she was pregnant in 1976. However, Durst forced her to have an abortion. This incident, along with many other instances of abuse, was later revealed by McCormack’s family, who found details in her diary.
- Before McCormack’s disappearance, she had begun to assert her independence from Durst, pursuing her own career in medicine. She was just months away from graduating from medical school when she vanished.
- Durst initially claimed that McCormack arrived safely in Manhattan on the night of her disappearance, but this was disputed by multiple accounts. Some workers at the couple’s apartment in the city mistakenly believed that they had seen McCormack that night, which complicated the investigation.
- Evidence that pointed towards Durst as a suspect was found by investigators and McCormack’s family. This included accounts of McCormack’s fear of Durst, a small amount of blood found in their South Salem home, and notes found in Durst’s garbage that hinted at disposal of a body.
- Despite the suspicious circumstances surrounding McCormack’s disappearance, the police focused their investigations primarily in Manhattan and Durst was never charged. Durst’s friend, Susan Berman, further clouded the investigation with claims that McCormack had run off with another man.
- Durst divorced McCormack in 1990, eight years after her disappearance, citing “spousal abandonment”. This contradicted his earlier claims of having spoken with her after her supposed arrival in Manhattan.
- In 2000, 18 years after McCormack’s disappearance, the case was reopened. Around this time, Durst went into hiding and moved to Galveston, Texas, where he lived under an assumed identity.
- Soon after Durst went into hiding, his close friend Susan Berman was found murdered at her home in California. It was believed that she was about to cooperate with the police investigation into McCormack’s disappearance. Durst’s name came up in connection with Berman’s murder, but he wasn’t initially charged.
- In September 2001, Durst was arrested and charged with the murder of his elderly neighbor Morris Black in Galveston. Despite admitting to killing and dismembering Black, Durst was acquitted of the murder charges in November 2003.
- Durst’s involvement in Berman’s murder and McCormack’s disappearance became more suspicious after he made damning admissions in the 2015 HBO documentary series “The Jinx”. This included his mutterings caught on a hot mic, where he seemed to confess to “killing them all”.
- Durst was arrested in March 2015 and later in 2021, he was found guilty of murdering Berman and sentenced to life in prison.
- Days after Durst’s conviction for Berman’s murder, he was finally charged with the murder of McCormack, almost 40 years after her disappearance. However, Durst died in prison at age 78 in January 2022 before he could be brought to trial. To date, McCormack’s body has not been found and the exact circumstances of her murder remain unknown.